I’ve been taking down all the things that Steve and I have hung on the walls of our home for the past 12 years that we have lived in this house. Each item I release from the wall, leaves telltale signs of who had hung them, Steve or me.
I can’t really say we had walls full of “art”, as that would be a grave exaggeration. Instead, what I will say is that we had walls full of eclectic pieces that had meaning to us for one reason or another. Many of the reasons were, that I found something strangely quirky and thought, “Let’s hang it on the wall!” Steve would always grimace and question my sanity, but once hung would kindly go on and on about what a cool find it was. Some examples: an old broken fluglelhorn that Steve had found in a ditch in his younger years. I found it stashed away in the attic and promptly hung it on the wall. An old Mexican door that I found at Bazaar Sabado (a benefit for SAMA), I thought Steve was going to clobber me, but in the end, it hung in our dining door and he loved it.
|St Michael Door from Mexico|
Other things: Quilts and hand hooked rungs that Steve cleverly had me stitch heavy industrial velcro on the back and then he staple gunned the rough end of the velcro to the wall and voila, wall hanging, neat and tidy! An Italian ceramic lion head and sort of bowl that I had had grown up with forever, we hung it and filled it with wax apples...very fun. Assorted metal pieces, one of a man looking through a telescope, one of the word “Joy”. This was hung by Steve with great care. Steve never wanted nails to show, so on this particular metal sign he had attached magnets to the back and then odd little hooks to attach to the tiny nails. Joy simply floated on our wall! I could go on and on, but you “get the picture,” right?
|My metal man...just because|
|Garcia blown glass flower|
So last night I spent the night taking down most of our wall “art”, and we had a lot. As I took each piece down I could immediately tell if I had hung them or if Steve had. I can vividly remember buying something and bringing it home and hoping, okay maybe even praying, that Steve would be playing tennis or golfing so that I could hang the said piece without so much of a “to do.”
You see, Steve and I were so very different on so many levels. He was a detail man. He was driven and purposeful and liked to think and ponder and deliberate before taking action. I, on the other hand, will just grab a hammer, a handful of nails and start banging away until the said piece seems to stay in place. Sometimes they did and sometimes they fell flat on the floor, but Steve’s pieces never budged from those walls.
So here I am, Saturday night 7:00 p.m. taking down our wall decor...fun stuff. It took a few pieces before I started smiling, then got a little teary, remembering so clearly the history of the hanging of the pieces and how we/Steve would calculate hanging them to death. Steve with molly bolts, levels, tape measures and blue tape in hand and me standing by like a nurse in the OR handing him: drill, phillips head screwdriver, stud finder, hammer...it was serious business.
The holes in the wall tell the story. Steve’s holes are deep and sound. Mine...well my holes had multiple little holes all around one big hole where I would place a nail and move it, and nail it just a little to the left and stand back and look and remove it again, and re-nail until the wonky piece would fall out of the wall. Finally I would wait for Steve to come home so I could admit I had bought yet another weird but wonderful piece of wall paraphernalia, watch him moan and groan and then go through the exasperating task of hanging, only to gratifyingly hear him at the end of each episode say, “Man, that looks really amazing! Good work Janet.”
|My holes (for one hanging)|
So I spent my Saturday night remembering each of those episodes. I remembered us getting short with one another. I remember times when I would get mad because Steve didn’t like where I wanted to hang it, I remember things that Steve said were just simply too heavy to hang, in other words, “No.”
Oh, I would take every one of those seconds back now. To hear and be able to argue over hanging something stupid. To be able to watch Steve’s incredible mind work as he so easily hung a difficult, often impossible piece with such precision and ease. To be able to do a simple task like hang something on the wall with someone you love and laugh about it in the end and have him tell me it was a great idea. Oh, those holes in the wall, they will forever remain holes in my heart, and I love every one of them.
Sure, Steve and I were different on many levels, but oh we were like one person on all the higher levels. We could read one another like a book and even better, we understood what we were reading. We often laughed about how very similar we were and how we were the only people that knew it.
I’m thankful to have spent my life with a man who was so like me in so many ways, yet one who was so foreign from who I could ever imagine being that I was able to learn and grow because we chose one another.
Yep, I will always have my holes, and I will cherish every last one of them.
2 Timothy 1:3-4 ”I thank God for you—the God I serve with a clear conscience, just as my ancestors did. Night and day I constantly remember you in my prayers. I long to see you again, for I remember your tears as we parted. And I will be filled with joy when we are together again.”